Board of Directors
Michael S. Wyzga, Chair of Board of Directors
Mr. Wyzga has served as Chairman of the X4 Board of Directors since July 2018. Mr. Wyzga is currently the President of MSW Consulting Inc., a strategic consulting group focused in the lifesciences area. From December 2011 until November 2013, Mr. Wyzga served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Radius Health, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company. Prior to that, Mr. Wyzga served in various senior management positions at Genzyme Corporation, a publicly traded global biotechnology company. Mr. Wyzga joined Genzyme in February 1998 and most recently served as Executive Vice President, Finance from May 2003 until November 2011 and as chief financial officer from July 1999 until November 2011. From February 2014 to December 2018, Mr. Wyzga served as a member of the board of directors of Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, where he was also a member of the compensation committee and chair of the audit committee. Since February 2015, Mr. Wyzga has also served as a member of the board of directors of Exact Sciences Corporation, a publicly traded medical technology company, where he is also a member of the audit and compensation committees. Since October 2013, Mr. Wyzga has also served as a member of the board of directors of Oncomed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he is also a member of the audit committee. Since February 2016, Mr. Wyzga has also served as Chairman of the board of directors of GenSight Biologics S.A., a Euronext traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Wyzga also previously served as a member of the board of directors of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company that was acquired by Merck in August 2014, where he also served as the chair of the audit committee and a member of the compensation committee, and as a member of the Supervisory Board of Prosensa Holding B.V., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, from June 2014 until the Prosensa acquisition by BioMarin Falcon B.V. in December 2014. He received an M.B.A. from Providence College and a B.S. from Suffolk University.
Mr. Blech has served as a member of the X4 Board of Directors since July 2015. Mr. Blech played a role in establishing some of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, including Celgene Corporation, ICOS Corporation, Pathogenesis Corporation, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation and Genetics Systems Corporation. These companies are responsible for major advances in oncology, infectious disease and cystic fibrosis. Mr. Blech serves on the boards of directors of Cerecor Inc., ContraFect Corporation, Edge Therapeutics, Inc., SpendSmart Networks, Inc., and Aridis Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mr. Blech is also Vice Chairman of a number of private companies including Centrexion Corporation, Alveo Technologies, Elucida Oncology, Nacuity Pharmaceuticals, Sapience Therapeutics, Inc. and X-VAX Technology, Inc. Mr. Blech received his B.A. from Baruch College.
Gary J. Bridger, PhD
Dr. Bridger has served as a member of the X4 Board of Directors since October 2018. From February 2015 to December 2017, Dr. Bridger served as a consultant to Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he previously served as the Executive Vice President of Research and Development from January 2013 to February 2015. From October 2013 to October 2015, Dr. Bridger served as a Managing Director at Five Corners Capital Inc. From June 2010 to June 2012, Dr. Bridger served as a venture partner at Venture West Capital Management, a venture capital firm. From November 2006 to December 2007, Dr. Bridger served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development of Genzyme Corporation, a biotechnology company, which was acquired by Sanofi, S.A. In June 1996, Dr. Bridger co-founded AnorMED Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and was its Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer from 2000 until its acquisition by Genzyme in November 2006. Dr. Bridger has served on the board of directors of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since 2013. Dr. Bridger previously served on the board of directors of Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2013 to 2016. Dr. Bridger serves on the scientific advisory board of Alectos Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Bridger holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
David McGirr, MBA
Mr. McGirr has served as a member of the Arsanis Board of Directors since September 2017. From March 2013 until June 2014, Mr. McGirr was Senior Advisor to the chief executive officer of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company where he also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from November 2002 to March 2013. Prior to joining Cubist in 2002, Mr. McGirr was the President and Chief Operating Officer of hippo inc, an internet technology, venture-financed company. From 1996 to 1999, he was the President of GAB Robins North America, Inc., a risk management company, serving also as Chief Executive Officer from 1997 to 1999. Mr. McGirr was a private equity investor from 1995 to 1996. From 1978 to 1995, Mr. McGirr served in various positions within the S.G. Warburg Group, ultimately as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Managing Director of S.G. Warburg & Co., Inc., a position held from 1992 to 1995. Mr. McGirr is currently a member of the board of directors of Insmed Incorporated, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company where he has served since October 2013; Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company where he has served since November 2015; and Menlo Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company where he has served since November 2017. Mr. McGirr also served on the board of directors of Roka Bioscience, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company, from December 2013 to January 2018. Mr. McGirr received a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Glasgow and received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Paula Ragan, PhD
Dr. Ragan has been X4’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the X4 Board of Directors since July 2014. She has more than 18 years of experience building companies in the biotechnology industry. From August 2012 to September 2014, Dr. Ragan consulted as Chief Business Officer at Lysosomal Therapeutics Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company, where she led the company’s business development activities. Prior to that, from January 2007 to August 2012, Dr. Ragan held leadership roles in corporate development and operations at Genzyme Corporation, a Sanofi company, where she led strategic partnering efforts for Genzyme’s Rare Disease business and headed the supply chain planning for Genzyme’s flagship commercial products. Other professional roles include business roles at Hydra Biosciences, Oscient Corporation and Celera Corporation. Dr. Ragan received her B.S. from Tufts University and her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School.
René Russo, PharmD, BCPS
Dr. Russo has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2016. Since May 2019, Dr. Russo is serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Akrevia Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing immuno-oncology therapeutics. Previously during her three year tenure at Arsanis, Dr. Russo served as President and Chief Executive Officer from April 2016 to November 2018 and as Chief Development Officer from July 2015 until April 2016. Earlier in her career, Dr. Russo served in various roles over an 11-year period at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public pharmaceutical development company, focused on the development and commercialization of infectious disease therapeutics, from 2003 until its acquisition by Merck in May 2015, most recently as its Vice President, Global Medical Affairs. From 1999 to 2004, she held roles of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb where she started her industry career as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Industrial Pharmacy Infectious Diseases. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Russo held clinical positions at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Princeton Hospital. Dr. Russo received her Pharm.D. and B.S. from Rutgers University.
Murray W. Stewart, MD
Dr. Stewart has served as a member of the X4 Board of Directors since March 2019. He has served as Chief Medical Officer of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of rare genetic disorders of obesity, since October 2018. He previously served as Head of R&D for Novelion Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new standards of care for individuals living with rare disease, where he oversaw global medical affairs for Juxtapid® and Myalept®, two marketed products for rare metabolic diseases, from November 2017 to October 2018. Prior to that, Dr. Stewart was Chief Medical Officer at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), with global responsibility for patient well-being across the vaccine, pharmaceutical, and consumer business units, from April 2014 to November 2017. During his 18-year career at GSK, Dr. Stewart held multiple research and development leadership roles, including Chief Medical Officer for the pharmaceutical business, Clinical Head of the Biopharma Unit, and Therapy Area Head for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Prior to his tenure with GSK, he worked as a consultant physician and honorary senior lecturer at the Diabetes Center in Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K. Dr. Stewart holds an M.D. from Southampton Medical School and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.